Journaling saved my life. I mean it. It is the biggest reason I didn’t choose suicide as an option when I was a was young. When I was confused, I wrote and for some reason that brought me feelings of contentment, accomplishment, and relief.
Now I write with the intention of helping anyone else who might feel like they are alone in their suffering.
Mike’s longing for discipline leads him across the contest stage where he accidently becomes Mr. Los Angeles Leather.
His search for the holy grail of a hyper-masculine erotic brotherhood has him soaking up books on fetish and advice from an endless parade of self-appointed experts.
Now, as he heads off to the biggest contest of them all, the Chicago, International Mister Leather competition. He wonders if he’s got what it takes and if the “community” has what he really wants.
Mike has written for Instigator, Letherati, Savage Love, and been featured on the NPR affiliate, KCRW Strangers podcast. He has competed in, and won, exactly three leather titles including International Mister Leather. He created TRIBE – WeHo Gay Men’s Discussion Group and the LA Band of Brothers. He lives in West Hollywood with his husband Garrett, teaches yoga in his spare time, and knows the proper crew complement of a Galaxy-class starship.
Coming of age is difficult under the best of circumstances. For gay youth raised with deeply held religious traditions, the experience can be both exhilarating and life threatening. Documenting these intense realities faced by me and my kind as we struggled to find a path for ourselves among the heteronormative mating rituals of small town early 80s America is what this book is about.
Mikel Gerle has been a pineapple picker, ballet dancer, International Mister Leather, government bureaucrat, and yoga teacher. He has ridden his bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles four times to raise money to combat HIV, the virus he as survived since 1987. He and his partner share their lives with their chosen family in Hollywood, CA.
He has written A View from the Podium and articles for Instigator Magazine and Leatherati. More information and his blog can be found at mikelgerle.com.